Bus fares to increase

With a record number of riders taking the bus, the King County Council has voted to raise fares for Metro Transit.

The Council voted on Monday to raise fares by 25 cents in February of next year and another 25 cents the following January. “This fare increase is not as sharp as originally anticipated, but should allow us to maintain service despite spikes in fuel prices or drops in the revenues that support public transit,” Councilmember Dow Constantine, chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee and co-sponsor of the fare ordinance said. Executive Ron Sims had originally proposed raising the rates by a half dollar in 2009 to help make up for the $83 million-$90 million budget shortfall. The first price hike is anticipated to generate $9 million next year and $22 million starting in 2010.

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